Council Officer Tom Lands Top Tourism Appointment
A council officer has put himself on the map after landing a top tourism appointment.
Tom Pridmore, tourism and events officer at Ribble Valley Borough Council, is the new president of the Tourism Management Institute.
The institute is the professional body for tourism officers in the UK and the travel sector’s ‘voice of destination management’.
It draws members from across the tourism sector, including local government, visitor attractions, travel consultancies and higher education, and supports their careers with continuous professional development.
Tom, who started his career as a National Parks ranger and has an MA in Tourism, has been instrumental in driving up visitor numbers in Ribble Valley with multi-award-winning initiatives such as Wedding Heaven – soon to be featured in a television documentary – Walks with Taste and the Ribble Valley Tourism Association.
And he developed a post-pandemic response and recovery plan for tourism and hospitality, which was lauded nationally by the Local Government Association.
He said: “The tourism sector looks very different in the post-Covid world and presents challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis, and opportunities, such as the boom in staycations.
“The institute represents the interests of destination management on national bodies and responds to consultations by Government and VisitBritain, offering members the opportunity to comment on policy and developments.
“I have been on the institute’s national executive for several years, taking the lead on its continuous professional development programme, and am looking forward to my two-year presidency, during which I hope to drive digitalisation in destination management and create better opportunities for young people entering the sector.”
Tourism generated over £260million for the Ribble Valley economy prior to the pandemic and the number of visitors to the borough topped four million for the third year running, as well as generating 3,454 full-time equivalent jobs.
Many visitors are attracted by the borough’s food and drink, which has been championed by Ribble Valley Borough Council for many years through several successful initiatives, particularly the Clitheroe Food Festival, now in its ninth year and considered one of the best in the UK.
The council also devised the Wedding Heaven partnership aimed at promoting Ribble Valley as a premier wedding destination and has been working with businesses to champion Walks with Taste, which combines outstanding countryside hikes with fine food.
Louise Edge, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s economic development committee, said: “Tourism is a key part of our economic strategy and we have worked hard with the private sector to develop key markets, such as food and drink, walking and weddings.
“Our visitor economy is extremely buoyant and Tom’s appointment as president of the Tourism Management Institute is a real accolade both for him and the borough.
“Tom will bring his considerable enthusiasm and expertise to bear in this prestigious role.”